Two adventurers have just made the complete crossing of Quebec, from south to north, by bike and on skis, a journey that no one had yet made concrete.

On April 28, Samuel Lalande-Markon and Simon-Pierre Goneau reached Cape Anaulirvik (Wolstenholme) after a demanding three-month journey over 3,000 kilometers in difficult weather conditions.

“For me, it was something very emotional,” comments Simon-Pierre Goneau. It’s a project that I had in mind for five years, so it was the realization of a dream. »

For his part, Samuel Lalande-Markon let himself be captivated by the landscape.

“It was truly the most beautiful of our entire crossing. »

Samuel Lalande-Markon has extensive experience in epic journeys: in 2018, he linked Montreal to Kuujjuaq by bike and canoe, a 31-day epic with David Désilets. In 2021, he had teamed up with the same partner to cross the province in an east-west axis, from Blanc-Sablon to the Cree community of Waskaganish, on the shores of James Bay.

For Simon-Pierre Goneau, this is his first major expedition, which he concocted after discovering that the southernmost point of Quebec was on private land near marker 720, at the border Canadian-American. With the permission of the owner, he undertook his crossing in 2020 by bicycle. Unfortunately, bad weather conditions and the pandemic forced him to abandon the project in Chisasibi, on James Bay.

He decided to resume this year, starting from Chisasibi. Samuel Lalande-Markon joined him there, leaving a fortnight earlier from the famous terminal 720 solo.

It was a pleasure to join Simon-Pierre and swap the bike for the skis.

“After a first solo section, it was fun to be able to arrive with someone, says Samuel. It helped enormously, both psychologically and physically. »

However, the first week was tough, with particularly cold conditions, down to -30°C. In addition, Simon-Pierre embarked “cold” on the expedition, while Samuel was already seasoned after two weeks of hard work.

We had to make a small detour inland in Tursujuq Park to avoid a gully that almost never freezes.

“We were told to go up through a kind of small valley that still has trees,” Samuel says. It was a fantastic experience to go through there, even if it was the most difficult two days of the expedition in terms of progress. »

Along the way, the two adventurers were able to refuel every 6 to 11 days in Cree and Inuit communities.

“It allowed us to break the challenge down into small bites,” says Simon-Pierre. We tried to take one at a time. »

The adventurers made great encounters there, in particular they spoke to young people in schools.

“It’s a huge privilege,” comments Samuel. There were also a lot of meetings on the land, generally one or two days before arriving in each of the communities or when leaving. We met Inuits on snowmobiles, who often gave us meat that we ate in the tent. »

However, a winter expedition remains particularly difficult.

“You have to work all the time, there is no hesitation, unlike summer expeditions, where you can have a few moments to let go. This is what becomes a little difficult in the long run. »

There were no major glitches, apart from ski boots that broke on the way.

“Thanks to the stops in the communities, we were able to get new boots sent to us,” says Simon-Pierre.

A film crew joined the adventurers at a few very specific locations to take images, namely in Chisasibi, Tursujuq Park and finally in Ivujivik, the northernmost community in Quebec. The team then spent three days with Samuel and Simon-Pierre snowshoeing to Cape Wolstenholme.

The team is expected to produce a “sort of adventure film-documentary essay hybrid” within a year.

Samuel Lalande-Markon is thinking about other great expeditions. In the meantime, he will join friends this summer to descend the Georges River from Schefferville to Kuujjuaq.

“A beautiful 30 days of canoeing. It’s almost a vacation. »